Monday, August 16, 2010

Think Ohio couldn't make it on its own? Think again.

Kirkpatrick Sale (left) has extensively studied the size (both land area and population) of nations and their relative effectiveness -- economically, politically, and in their ability to maintain the literacy and freedom of their peoples.

His conclusion: Ohio (land area 40,000 sqare miles, population 11.5 million) is a bit on the large side. Of the 223 independent political entities in the world, Prof. Sale finds* that 58% are smaller than Switzerland (which, at 7.7 million is much smaller than Ohio). And 85 of the 223 have an area less than 10,000 square miles -- one-quarter that of Ohio.

He has summarized his findings into Sale's Law: "Economic and social misery increasers in direct proportion to the size and power of the central government of a nation." He backs this up with a brief review of four periods of world history when governments radically centralized -- the most recent being 1910-1970. Accompanying those periods were the most devastating wars, the most severe depressions, and the highest inflations in modern history.

The entire article is very interesting, and may be found in Truth to Power, to which a virtual buckeye is due.

The biggest barrier to freedom and independence is the one that resides between our ears.

* Using a Wikipedia ranking based on United Nations population statistics.


Northwestern Localist said...

There isn't a state in the union that could not, nor should not make it on it's own. And we would all be better off in many ways if we did.

PhreedomPhan said...

If you haven't already read it, I think you'd like "The Breakdown of Nations" by Leopold Kohr, copyright 1957, 1978 and published by E.P.Dutton (the paperback version).

In it, Kohr argues convincingly that consolidation is the wrong way to go. We should be breaking down the huge states that have been created.

The only thing I can recall disagreeing with in the book is Kohr's linking Capitalism with Free Enterprise. I think they are totally disconnected. I'm 68 and have lived in a Capitalist system in Socialist form all of my life, but I've never lived in a Free Enterprise System.

Putting my detour aside and getting back to Kohr. E.F. Schumacher, author of "Small is Beautiful" said Kohr taught him more than anyone.

BTW, the Introduction to Kohr's book is written by Sale.